About CPT Iraqi Kurdistan

Jauary 2009 - Present

Human Rights reporting and relationship building - The team:

  • works toward accompanying displaced persons home by living in conflicted border regions
  • documents human rights violations against civilian populations
  • shares reports with the United Nations, human rights organizations, media, and governments
  • Amplifies voices of Kurds calling for a peaceful solution to the Turkish-PKK conflict



October 2008 - January 2009

Exploration and Advocacy - The team:

  • travels to villages being bombed by Turkey, US and Iran along northern border
  • explores possibilities for accompaniment work
  • advocates for the rights of those displaced
  • meets government officials and organizations and builds relationships
  • explores "disputed areas", Kirkuk and Makhmour
  • serves as election observers in Khanikeen during the provincial elections


November 2006 - Summer 2008: Kurdistan

Peacebuilding - CPT continues to work for the building of a nonviolent society in Iraq. In Kurdistan CPT focuses on:

  • detainees, meeting with Kurdish parliamentarians, lawyers, human rights groups
  • internally displaced persons, meeting with IDPs, local service providers and government officials
  • nonviolence training, talking with interested Kurdish groups and following-up with those already trained
  • work in Iraq continues to be risky, as it is for all Iraqi citizens and soldiers in the region


April - October 2006

Consultation, Evaluation, Exploration - after an evaluation of the past program work in the wake of the hostage crisis, Iraqi human rights groups strongly support CPT staying in the country to continue its violence reduction work. CPT explores work in other regions of Iraq and in November the team formally moves from Baghdad to Kurdistan at the request of Iraqi partner organizations. Iraqi partners in central and southern Iraq are no longer safe if seen with foreigners.


November 2005 - March 2006

Hostage Situation - four CPTers are abducted in late November. The crisis ends in March with the murder of CPTer Tom Fox followed by the freeing of the remaining three CPTers in a military operation.


January - November 2005

Persisting Occupation - though travel remains treacherous and insurgent attacks continued on a daily basis, team members venture forth in response to urging from Iraqi human rights workers in Karbala. CPT’s persevering presence and establishment of trusting relationships help establish a partnership with Iraqis committed to forming a local Peacemaker Team.


October - December 2004

Continuing Occupation - a rash of kidnapping foreign aid workers compel the team to severely curtail its size and visibility. Iraqi partners, while acknowledging the potential danger CPT’s presence posed to them, encourage the team to remain in Baghdad.


June 2003 - September 2004

Ongoing Occupation - responding to persistent reports from families of Iraqi detainees, CPTers initiate efforts to:

  • document abuse of detainees by Coalition forces
  • assist Iraqis in gaining access to loved ones in detention
  • launch the Adopt-a-Detainee Campaign asking churches to advocate on behalf of Iraqi detainees
  • support a variety of new and old Iraqi human rights groups which suddenly found themselves with space and freedom to operate


April/May 2003

Aftermath of the Bombing - team members travel and work to:

  • draw attention to the huge and under-reported problem of unexploded ordnance;
  • raise an alternative perspective on the invasion based on interviews with Iraqi friends.


March/April 2003

Shock & Awe - CPTers stay in Baghdad in order to:

  • stand alongside Iraqi families
  • provide an alternative voice to the reporters “embedded” with Coalition forces
  • use their bodies to protect critical civilian infra-structure such as water treatment facilities, electrical plants, and hospitals.


October 2002

Stop the War - the team and successive delegations seek to:

  • support the UN Weapons Inspection Program as an alternative to war
  • expose the injustice and deaths from the US-led economic sanctions
  • put a human face on Iraq, helping people in the U.S. understand that Saddam Hussein was not the only person living in Iraq